February 2013 Publisher Letter
Jan 30, 2013 12:26PM
Certain positive psychology experts recommend choosing a personal symbol that, when consciously recognized, triggers a moment of quiet reflection. It could be a feather, rainbow, flower, train whistle, evening insect chorus or the universal symbol of love, a heart. We are free to pick anything that inspires special meaning for us and warms our soul with blissful feelings.
The symbol we choose might be associated with a fond memory of a loved one, a family vacation, a funfilled community ritual or other happy times that we felt most at one with our self and at peace. Our symbol can change as we grow; we may also elect to have multiple symbols that each bring to mind different kinds of feelings.
The key for me has been to focus only on symbols that cultivate positive emotional stirrings. In the past few years I’ve used several, including a peace sign and a daisy, but the heart has been the one that shows up most frequently, often at unexpected times and places.
A few years ago, a close friend found a heart-shaped stone while strolling the beach that she presented to me as a gift. Before that, I had been unaware of such naturally occurring rocks; now I can’t get away from them and have accumulated quite a collection. Hearts also have shown up as a leaf dragged in on my puppy’s paw and even the perspiration on a friend’s T-shirt after a cardio kick-boxing class.
Now, whenever I see a heart symbol, I pause, take a deep relaxing breath and briefly reflect on feelings of warmth, peacefulness and unconditional love, the kind felt deep inside for cherished relationships. Let’s not forget to love ourselves! Kim Childs, our talented local writer and faithful cheerleader for whom I am infinitely grateful, offers wonderful tips in “Be Your Own Valentine.”
Linda Sechrist’s feature article, “Bodywork Goes Mainstream,” opens up all kinds of accessible possibilities for being good to ourselves. Consider treating yourself or a loved one to the special care offered by the talented local bodyworkers that put their hearts and souls into nurturing others. Our pages are embroidered with supportive advertisements by some of the most endearing, truly giving professionals in these fields. Reach out and give them a try—chances are you’ll be glad you did!
Wishing you peace, love and happiness always,
Maisie Raftery, Publisher